June is a great month for freshwater species, including another round of bedding bream on the full (June 14) and new moon phases (May 28, June 27). The farther north you go, the better the bedding will be, since bluegill spawn earlier in the southernmost counties.
Bluegill bed several times during the spring and summer months, unlike most freshwater species. The darker males, or bull bream, will remain on the beds throughout the bedding periods, while the females move on and off the beds when they feel the need to expel eggs.
“That’s why it’s good to let some of the males go — to keep the beds active,” said avid bream angler Jeff Thomas of Vicksburg. “If you have a small lake, like 50 acres or less, and you start taking the bull bream off in April and don’t stop, then sooner or later you will deplete the bed, or at least make it less attractive to the females.
“It’s funny, but by the end of the summer the bulls that were so big and thick in April will be paper thin (because) they’ve worked so hard.”
With bream and catfish in mind, let’s look at Mississippi’s Top 5 fishing trips in June.
1. Tippah County Lake — This 145-acre lake near Ripley is loaded with big bream. Look in the coves for beds, and keep your nose in the wind to sniff out the beds.
2. Pickwick Lake — Forget about bass for a minute, which is tough to do on this great lake in the extreme northeast corner of the state. Pickwick Lake is a catfish angler’s dream. Channel cats by the millions move up on the rock bluff banks to spawn in the cracks in 4 to 5 feet of water.
3. Kemper County Lake — In addition to being one of the state’s great bass lakes, this 595-acre MDWFP lake near DeKalb is a bluegill hotspot. With abundant deep water, find the coves that offer depths near the bank and sniff for beds in the shallows.
4. Mississippi River — While jugging the shallow inside bends of the river, find a rock jetty at water level and fish below it for white bass. Your day could end with a box(es) full of blue and channel catfish, as well as white bass.
5. Okhissa Lake — This 500-acre National Forest Service lake near Bude is rapidly becoming famous for its bluegill, as well it should. With over 500 man-made gravel beds included in the lake’s construction, finding an active bed is easy. You can see them. You can smell them. Or you can just look for where all the boats are anchored. And because of its great depth, Okhissa’s bream bed big time in June.